RECEIVED a report from Superintendent Tony Kelly on the breakdown of drug offences in Enfield from 01 January – 31 December 2017.
i) The report detailed the breakdown of drug related offences by ward in Enfield from 01 Jan – 31 Dec 2017 (shown in table 1). The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) defines drugs as any substances that are abused and are subject to control and/or regulation under the following legislation:
· The misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
· The Human Medicines Regulations 2012;
· The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016
ii) These offences include possession, possession with intent to supply and cultivation offences.
iii) The data in the report is broken down into drug type (table 2), gender (table 3) and ethnicity (table 4).
iv) As is evident from the data shown a wide range of drugs are involved in the drug related offences. A higher proportion of men are also arrested from drug crimes. However it should be taken into account that more stop and searches are carried out by the Police on men and boys as opposed to females. It was recognised that the MPS need to increase stop and searches on women and girls as it was known that females often carry drugs for gang members.
v) Table 5 details the outcomes of the offences. It was noted that 181 cases still await a result (e.g. laboratory analysis, suspect identification etc.).
vi) Drug offences have been identified through stop and search on the street; possession found when arrested for other offences and proactive operations.
vii) Operation Bremont has been running in a number of forms since May 2017. The operation is mainly to tackle knife crime. It was noted that 388 drug arrests/warnings have been generated by this operation alone and demonstrates the links between street crime, drugs supply and knife crime. There have been 72 drugs search warrants executed as part of Bremont.
viii) The Metropolitan Police have recognised that dealing with the impact of drugs on communities and confidence in Police are linked and has just produced a new Drugs Strategy 2017-2021.
ix) The aim of this strategy is to support local officers to have a consistent approach to problem solving that reduces the impact of drugs, limits the space that criminals in this area have to operate and demonstrates to local communities that their issues are being dealt with.
The following questions and comments were raised:
Councillor Lappage thanked Superintendent Kelly for an excellent report and said that it was music to her ears to hear that Drug Crime was such a priority for the MPS. She was encouraged to hear that the Metropolitan Police had produced a new Drugs Strategy (2017-2021) and was keen to see how this would be implemented and the impact it would have on drug crime in the borough.
She did however have real concerns that Cannabis is a gateway drug to crime. It is openly being smoked on the streets and this does not appear to be dealt with which in turn, reduces public confidence in the Police. Councillor Lappage said that she would like to see more action from the Police to address the issue of openly smoking cannabis on the streets as she felt that whilst this was allowed to continue, it gives young people the impression that it is ok to freely break the law.
Superintendent Kelly replied that if the Police are out and about and observe someone freely smoking on the streets they will be dealt with on a case to case basis.
Q. Do you have any views about wide spread cannabis smoking in council housing blocks?
A. A lot of the requests to the Police are from residents complaining about people coming in off the streets to get in out of the cold and then often smoke cannabis in the stairwells. Therefore those individuals smoking cannabis often don’t live in the blocks and are not council tenants.
Q. Many Councillors are smelling cannabis when knocking on doors canvassing. This is happening in both private and council properties and is extremely concerning. What is being done to address this issue?
A. 72 drug search warrants have been executed in the last 8 months as part of Operation Bremont, so action is being taken to address these concerns.
Q. Are we taken action to work with certain communities in the borough regarding drug issues?
A Currently no specific work in this area takes place. However it is under review as part of the new Police Drugs Strategy and a Community Engagement thread will be incorporated within the future plan.
The Chair thanked Superintendent Kelly for his informative updates.